Thursday, 9 July 2009

Caribbean Tales Film Festival Launch

The Caribbean diaspora is well represented at the launch of the 4 Annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival: (left to right) International Festival Programmer June Givanni (England), ground-breaking Director, Euzhan Palcy (Martinique) and Cultural Officer, National Cultural Foundation, Annette Nias (Barbados).

The launch of the 4th Annual Caribbean Tales Film Festival got off to a good start tonight. Invited guests were treated to a repast of Caribbean foods with a background of music and conversation in English of all flavours and a smattering of French. Following the reception at New College's Grad Student's pub guests attended a screening of 2 short films and a feature documentary:

1. "Where do White People Go When the Long Weekend Comes? The Wonderous Journey of Delroy Kincaid" by Powys Dewhurst is an 7 minute film that mixes the live action and animation to answer the film's title question silently posed by a Black young boy. I related to this film very well. As a young girl immigrating to Canada from Jamaica, I too, used to wonder what "cottages" were and why white Canadians had two homes, one of which they only visited a few times a year.

2. I interviewed director, Akin Omotoso a few years ago when his short film Gathering the Scattered Cousins played at the Toronto International Film Festival. Akin wasn't present for this screening but it was great to share the experience of his film with a new audience. As the son of an Nigerian man and Barbadian woman, Akin had always wanted to learn more about his Caribbean relatives. His mother's death is the impetous for him to take a vogage of discovery to Barbados, where family secrets are revealed.

3. Most people around the world know Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die or as for his Uncola 7-Up commercials, but he was also an award-winning choreographer, director, dancer and artist. The documentary, Carmen and Geoffrey took us into the personal world of Holder and his wife, the extraordinary dancer, Carmen de LaVallade. It was a pleasure hearing their individual stories as well as stories of them as a couple.

The Caribbean Tales Film Festival runs until July 12th. For more information please visit

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